Operation on Valencia baby a success

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Surgeons at La Fe Hospital in Valencia have successfully operated on the heart of a premature baby weighing little more than a kilo.

17 December 2007

VALENCIA - Surgeons at La Fe Hospital in Valencia have successfully operated on the heart of a premature baby weighing little more than a kilo, setting a new first for Spanish medicine.

The baby, Paola, was born seven weeks premature and weighed just 1,375 grams. She also suffered from a congenital heart defect that affects two out of every thousand newborns. Doctors managed to correct the defect using procedures never before used in Spain on a baby so small.

"We were operating on a heart the size of a chestnut," José María Caffarena, the head of the paediatric cardiology unit at La Fe Hospital, told reporters in a press conference yesterday. He said Paola is recovering well despite the risks. Similar operations have only previously been performed in Japan and France.

[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL. 2007]

Subject: Spanish news

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